In Group F, Jamaica will be looking to make it past the group stage for the first time against Brazil who are looking for nothing but a win. Whereas, France will need to claim at least a point against Panama who currently sit at the bottom.
In Group G, there is only one spot left to fight for with Sweden looking comfortable at the top where they will play against Argentina who can join their opponents in the next round if they beat them. Also, South Africa and Italy will go up against each other both looking for a win to have the chance at playing in the knockouts.
Let’s see how all these teams went in their final group-stage matches.
South Africa vs Italy:
Both South Africa and Italy will head to Wellington Regional Stadium aiming to win, fighting for the final place in Group G. The Italians were awarded a penalty in the 11th minute after a foul committed by South Africa’s Karabo Dhlamini on Chiara Beccari. Arianna Caruso was able to convert from the penalty spot and give Italy the lead.
Despite being a goal down, South Africa looked to find an equaliser and almost did through Robyn Modaly who struck the post in the 20th minute. Unfortunately for Italy, Benedetta Orsi scored an own goal in the 32nd minute after a back pass towards Francesca Durante ended in the back of their own net, putting South Africa back in this contest.
South Africa managed to get into the lead in the 67th minute after a through ball by Thembi Kgatlana who was able to find the run of Hildah Magaia who slotted it past Durante.
Italy replied with a goal in the 74th minute where Arianna Caruso was able to get the final touch from a corner to score her second of the game and keep the Azzurri in for a chance for knockout football.
But there was late drama in this game, with South Africa scoring the winner in the 92nd minute. Jermaine Seoposenwe was able to pick out the run of Hildah Magaia who was able to run past the Italian defence. She squared it off to Thembi Kgatlana who tapped it past Durante to secure the win and progress into the Round of 16 for the first time in their history. The South Africans will play the Netherlands in their next match at the Sydney Football Stadium on Sunday.
Argentina vs Sweden:
With Sweden looking to progress into the knockouts, Argentina will look to cause an upset at Waikato Stadium where a win could potentially see them go through if results in the other Group G match go their way. The Swedes controlled most of the possession throughout the first half, but Argentina were able to get forward and create chances early on in the game through Mariana Larroquette and Estefania Banini but weren’t able to find the back of the net.
Olivia Schough was able to get her free-kick on target in the 19th minute but Vanina Correra was able to comfortably save her shot. On the other end of the pitch, Larroquette’s header could’ve put the Argentinians in the lead before the break but it just fell wide of the goal.
Sweden were able to find the breakthrough in the 66th minute through Rebecka Blomqvist who was assisted by a Sofia Jakobsson cross on the right-hand side and it was a simple header for Blomqvist to put them in the lead.
In the 90th minute, Sweden were awarded a penalty after a foul committed by Gabriela Chavez. Substitute Elin Rubensson was able to seal the deal, scoring her penalty to confirm Sweden as Group G winners where they will play the USA in Melbourne on Sunday.
Jamaica vs Brazil:
After losing to France in their second group game, Brazil are in a must-win situation against Jamaica who are currently unbeaten in the group stage and will be seeking at least a point at the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium. Brazil looked to attack the Jamaican defence from the start with chances from Marta and Ary Borges early on, but they couldn’t find the opener.
The Seleção continued to find ways to break down Jamaica’s defence throughout the first half but their best chances came from Tamires. Her first chance at goal involved some nice interplay amongst her Brazillian teammates, where they found her making a run towards goal and her shot was saved by Rebecca Spencer. Similar to her first attempt, Tamires’ second chance at goal saw her continue to make forward runs into the box where it was lobbed over towards her and her volley was once again saved by Spencer keeping the scores level into half-time.
Brazil continued to dominate possession in the second half but frustration was slowly growing as they weren’t able to put the ball in the back of the net. Chances from the likes of Geyse and Andressa were defended well by Jamaica and Debinha was so close to getting the winner but once again Rebecca Spencer responded with a crucial save.
After sitting back and defending for most of the game, Jamaica were able to settle for a goalless draw knocking out Brazil and advancing into the Round of 16.
Panama vs France:
France will enter their third and last group stage game looking to avoid defeat against Panama at the Sydney Football Stadium. Panama scored early directly from a free-kick taken by captain Marta Cox, who curled it into the top left corner from some distance in the second minute.
Diani was finally able to get her goal seven minutes after the leveller; Vicki Becho continued to look threatening from the right where she was able to cross it towards Diani. Her initial attempt was saved but scored on her second try putting France in the lead.
In the 37th minute, France were awarded a penalty after a handball in the box. Kadidiatou Diani stepped and cooly converted her penalty into the bottom left corner putting Les Bleus two goals ahead.
Lea Le Garrec was able to sneak in a fourth goal just before half-time after an intended cross turned into a goal where the ball skipped past everyone including Panama goalkeeper Yenith Bailey and ended in the back of the net.
Diani completed her hat trick in the 52nd minute after VAR called for a handball against Panama and therefore France was given another penalty. The Paris-Saint Germain forward slotted the ball into the bottom left corner once again to score France’s fifth goal of the game.
Not too long after, Panama was able to pull one back in the 64th minute where Yomira Pinzon scored from the spot after a foul by Elisa De Almeida. Panama scored in the 87th minute after a free-kick from Pinzon bounced its way to hit the crossbar and substitute Lineth Cedeno was there to head it into the back of the net.
To finish off a high-scoring game, Vicki Becho scored Les Bleus’ sixth goal in the tenth minute of added time securing first in Group F where they will wait to see who they play next after tomorrow’s final group games.